- Read Later
Gunmen opened fire at an upscale Nairobi mall Saturday, killing at least 22 and wounding more than 50. The city’s police chief Benson Kibue told the Associated Press that it was likely an act of terrorism, with no more than 10 attackers involved. After the gunmen burst into the Westgate mall, which is situated in an affluent neighborhood and popular among expatriates, they began to shoot indiscriminately and take hostages.
The attackers did, however, assert that non-Muslims were being targeted. Witness Elijah Kamau told the AP that the gunmen, who were toting AK-47s and hand grenades, announced that Muslims were safe and should stand up and leave.
Around 5 p.m. local time, the Kenyan Red Cross began reporting on Twitter that hostages were being evacuated:
Early suspicions suggested that the al-Qaeda-linked Somali militant group al-Shabab was behind the attack, which Al Jazeera later confirmed:
As victims continue to receive treatment at the city’s hospitals, authorities expect the death toll to rise.